Armentia Y Madrazo's Gran Reserva is the second wine from this venerable estate that we're excited to share with WineCollective members. The winery remains firmly in the "old school" of Rioja bodegas, often exceeding the required aging minimums. This Gran Reserva, for instance, is currently in the 2012 vintage, meaning these wines will arrive perfectly cellared and ready to enjoy.
It's impossible to understate Rioja's importance in the history of Spanish wine, and the place it's achieved in the global wine market today. On the surface, the labelling laws in Rioja are simple: wines are classified by how long they are aged before release, from the youngest Robles and Jovens, to Crianzas, Reservas, and finally Gran Reservas. In theory, only wines made from the best grapes are aged into Gran Reservas, meaning consumers have an easy time of determining quality. But more often than not, the distinctions end up being stylistic: younger wines are fresh and fruit-forward, while older wines take on a dusty elegance thanks to long aging. To further complicate matters, there's a growing movement of producers who are abandoning extended aging in an effort to focus on purity of fruit.
Enjoy this classically-styled Gran Reserva over the next 5 years at about 18 C.
Surprisingly youthful on the nose, this Gran Reserva exhibits aromas of dusty cherry and ripe raspberry. As it opens up in the glass, tertiary aromas (which develop as wines age) come to the fore, with earth, dried herbs, sweet pipe tobacco, and graphite.
Balanced and elegant on the palate, with a surprising amount of youthful acidity despite its nearly decade-long aging. The tannins are fine and dusty, supporting lifted fruit notes of sour cherry and tart raspberry. The finish is long and earthy, with hints of spice, campfire smoke, vanilla, and incense. We'd recommend decanting, as there might be a bit of sediment present.
Food and wine pairings are sometimes classics for a reason, so you can't go wrong with roast lamb. It would also be great with a simple cheese board.